Feel the power of the dark side, my son... Soon you, too, will have joined "The Opposition" and will have earned the right to have your words misrepresented and everything.
More seriously, don't rush but I'm looking forward to your Sonnenblume data.
Okay, here goes. I wonder if this post is for the Opposition or for the Counteropposition? Note some interesting things in it....see if you can find the gems. (BTW, essentially this is drawn from Seekrieg, supplemented by the KTB of DAK and Pz.A.O.K. Afrika. I'm going to see if I can get a handle on Tripoli over the weekend.
Sonnenblume 1 (7-14 Feb 42):
German freighters Ankara (4768 BRT), Arcturus (2596 BRT), Alicante (2140 BRT) departed Naples on the evening of 7 February 1942, escorted by destroyer Turbine and torpedo boats Orsa, Cantore and Missori and aircraft of X Flieger Korps. From 8-10 February the convoy sheltered from Force H in Palermo and then made the run into Tripoli, arriving on 11 February. The convoy returned to Italy on 14 February and was attacked by British torpedo bombers en route without effect. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 2 (12-14 Feb 42):
German freighters Adana (4205 BRT), Aegina (2447 BRT), Kybfels (7764 BRT) and Ruhr (5954 BRT) left Naples on 12 February and arrived at Tripoli on 14 February escorted by destroyer Camicia Nera and the torpedo boat Procione. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 3 (22-26 February):
German transporters Reichenfels and Marb and probably the Italian Cità di Agrigento (?), and the freighter Menes (5609 BRT), escorted by the destroyers Freccia, Saetta and Turbine left Naples on 22 February and was joined by an Italian convoy of the freighters Sabbia (5788 BRT) and Silvia Tripcovich (2365) escorted by the torpedo boat Montanari, but Sabbia is torpedoed by HMS Ursula the same day and Silvia Tripcovich is torpedoed, probably by HMS Ursula off Sfax on 23 February. They are also joined by a high-speed convoy en route comprised of the Italian liners Esperia (11398 BRT), Conte Rosso (17879 BRT), Marco Polo (12272 BRT) and Victoria (13098 BRT), escorted by the destroyers Camicia Nera and Baleno, the torpedo boat Aldebaran and Orione and a screen comprised of the light cruisers Giovanni delle Bande Nere and Armando Diaz with the destroyers Ascari and Corazziere, that had sailed from Naples on 24 February. En route Menes was torpedoed by HMS Regent on 23 February (?) and Armando Diaz was torpedoed by HMS Upright on 25 February. The combined convoy arrived at Tripoli on 26 February.
Italian Convoy (24 February):
The Italian freighters Navi Honor and Santa Paola left Palermo for Tripoli and Arta, Nirvo, and Giovinezza left Tripoli for the return to Naples on 24 February. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 4 (25-27 February):
The German freighters Wachtfels, Leverkusen and Alicante, and the Italian freighter Giulia, escorted by the destroyer Vivaldi and torpedo boats Calliope, Orsa, and Procione left Naples at noon on 25 February, probably arriving 26 or 27 February? There were no losses. (Note that Leverkusen had suffered a fire in Naples circa 10 February that had destroyed much of its original cargo, including 13 tanks of 5. Panzer-Regiment. It was reloaded after repairs, but evidently was no longer carrying tanks, since it is explicitly stated that they came in on Sonneblume 8 – see below.)
Sonnenblume 5 (1-3 March):
The German transporters Castellon, Ruhr, Maritza, and the Italian Amsterdam, escorted by the torpedo boats Clio, Pegaso and Orione sailed from Naples on 1 March arriving at Tripoli on 3 March. At the same time Alicante, Arcturus, Wachtfels, and Leverkusen escorted by the destroyer Vivaldi and torpedo boats Procione, Orsa, and Calliope left Tripoli to return to Naples. There were no losses in either group.
Sonnenblume 6 (3-6 March):
The German freighters Adana, Arta, Aegina and the Italian freighter Sabaudia, escorted by the destroyers Tarigo and Freccia and the torpedo boat Castore left Naples on 3 March and arrived at Tripoli on 6 March. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 7 (5-10 March):
The German freighters Ankara, Kybfels, Marburg and Reichenfels, escorted by the destroyers Vivaldi, Da Noli, Malocello, Folgore and Lampo, left Naples on 5 March, were joined by the torpedo boat Centauro from Tripoli en route, and arrive at Tripoli on 7 March. A returning convoy leaves Tripoli on 5 March with the German freighters Castellon, Ruhr and Maritza, escorted by the auxiliary cruiser Ramb III and the torpedo boat Orione and Pegaso, arriving at Tripoli by 10 March. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 8 (Transportstaffel) (7-9 March):
The German freighters Alicante, Arcturus, Wachtfels, and the Italian Rialto, escorted by the destroyers Fulmine, Baleno and Turbine leave Naples on 7 March loaded with the tanks of Panzer-Regiment 5., arriving at Tripoli on 9 March. At the same time a return convoy leaves Tripoli with the German freighters Adana, Aegina, Arta, Heraklea and the Italian Amsterdam, escorted by the destroyer Tarigo and the torpedo boat Aldebaran. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 9 (Transportstaffel) (9-11 March):
The Italian freighters Andrea Gritti and Sebastiano Venier, escorted by the torpedo boats Alcione, Pallade, Polluce, Clio and Centauro leave Palermo on 9 March and arrive undisturbed at Tripoli on 11 March. A simultaneous Italian convoy with the tanker Tanaro and the freighters Caffaro, Fenicia and Capo Vita on the way from Trapani to Tripoli escorted by the auxiliary Attilio Deffenu and torpedo boat Papa, were attacked off the Tunisian coast by HMS Utmost and Unique. On 9 March Utmost missed Deffenu but sank Capo Vita (5683 BRT) an on 10 March Unique sank Fenicia (2584 BRT). But they are forced to ignore a northbound convoy of small ships by due to orders to conserve torpedoes at Malta.
Italian Troop Transport (12-13 March):
The Italian liners Conte Rosso, Marco Polo and Victoria left Naples for Tripoli on 12 March with a close escort of the destroyers Camicia Nera, Geniere and Folgore, and a distant screen of the cruisers Trieste, Trento, and Bolzano with the destroyers Carabiniere, Corazziere, Aviere and the torpedo boat Dezza. The convoy arrived on 13 March. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 10 (12-14 March):
At the same time an Afrika Korps convoy with the German freighters Castellon, Ruhr, Maritza, and Leverkusen departs for Tripoli escorted by the torpedo boats Procione, Orsa, and Orione, and a returning convoy leaves Tripoli with the German freighters Marburg, Reichenfels, Ankara, and Kybfels, escorted by the destroyers Malocello, Vivaldi, and Da Noli. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 11 (14-18 March):
The German freighters Adana, Aegina, Heraklea, and Galilea and the Italian Beatrice Costa, escorted by the destroyers Tarigo and Freccia and the torpedo boats La Farina, Missori, and Pilo, left Naples on 14 March and arrived at Tripoli on 18 March. There were no losses.
Italian Convoy (14-16 March):
An Italian return convoy with the liners Conte Rosso, Marco Polo and Victoria, escorted by the destroyers Camicia Nera, Geniere and Folgore, left Tripoli on 14 March and arrived at Naples on 16 March. There were no losses.
Sonnenblume 12 (16-18 March):
The German freighters Marburg, Reichenfels, and the Italian freighter Calitea, escorted by the destroyers Vivaldi and Malocello and the torpedo boats Cigno and Polluce left Naples on 16 March, while a separate group left Trapani with the German transports Ankara and Kybfels and the destroyer Da Noli, arriving at Tripoli on 18 March. At the same time a return convoy with the freighters Castellon, Ruhr, Maritza and Leverkusen, escorted by the torpedo boats Procione, Orsa and Orione, left Tripoli for Naples. Both convoys had no losses.
Sonnenblume 13 (19-21 March):
On 19 March a convoy with the German freighters Arcturus, Santa Fé, Procida and Wachtfels, escorted by the destroyers Saetta, Fulmine and Baleno, sailed from Naples to Tripoli. At the same time the Adana, Aegina, Heraklea, and Galilea, escorted by the destroyers Tarigo and Freccia and torpedo boats Missori and Pilo left Tripoli for Naples and 24 hours later a second convoy with Marburg, Reichenfels and Kybfels, escorted by the destroyers Vivaldi, Da Noli, and Malocello, and the torpedo boat La Farina followed. All three convoys reach port without loss.
Sonnenblume 14 (22-28 March):
Left Naples on 22 March and arrived at Tripoli on 24 March with the German freighters Castellon, Alicante, Maritza and Leverkusen, escorted by the torpedo boats Procione, Orione and Orsa.The convoy returned to Naples 25-28 March. There were no losses.
Possible Italian Convoys (26-30 March):
On 25 March the submarine HMS Rorqual laid a minefield west of Cape Gallo, Sicily. On 26 March a convoy ran into it and the steamer Verde (1432 BRT) and the tanker Ticino (1470 BRT) were sunk. On 28 March the torpedo boat Generale Antonio Chinotto also sinks in the minefield. Then on 30 March Rorqual sank the Italian tanker Laura Corrado (3645 BRT) with torpedoes and gunfire and on 31 March the Italian sub Capponi.
Sonnenblume 15 (28 March):
On 28 March HMS Utmost attacked a Tripoli bound convoy with the German freighters Adana, Samos, Heraklea, Ruhr, and Galilea, escorted by the destroyers Folgore, Dardo, and Strale, sinking the Heraklea (1927 BRT) and damaging the Ruhr (5954 BRT).
Sonnenblume 16 (29-31 March):
Left Naples and Palermo on 29 March and arrived at Tripoli on 31 March with the German freighters Ankara, Reichenfels, Marburg, and Kybfels, and the Italian Calitea, escorted by the destroyers Vivaldi, Da Noli and Malocello. There were no losses.
A convoy returning from Tripoli with the transports Aquitania, Galilea, Caffaro, and Beatrice Costa, escorted by the torpedo boats Clio, Cigno, Calliope and Pegaso, was attacked by HMS Upright on 31 March. Galilea was hit and damaged but was towed into port by Calliope and Pegaso.
Italian Convoy (23-27 March):
Left Naples on 23 March with the Italian ships Amsterdam, Caffaro, Capo Orso, Col di Lana, and Giulia, escorted by the torpedo boats Circe, Clio, Castore, Calliope, Centauro and Pegaso. There were no losses
A return convoy left Tripoli on 23 March and arrived at Naples on 25 March, with the German ships Arcturus, Santa Fé, Procida and Wachtfels, escorted by the destroyers Saetta, Fulmine and Baleno. There were no losses.
Battle of Cape Matapan (26-29 March)
By the end of February DAK reported a total of 13,468 men in Africa and by the end of March a total of 16,200 men had made it to Africa. Please note that these are DAK personnel only, which meant essentially Sperrverband Rommel/verstärkes 5. le.-Afrika-Division. To that could be added the roughly 2,000 Luftwaffe Flaktruppen that had arrived, it isn’t really clear if they are included.
Note that by 1 March 14 German freighters and 4 Italian liners had made it to Tripoli. From then to the end of March another 46 freighters were used to move the tanks of 5. Panzer-Regiment, supplies, and roughly 3,000 more men.